Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
Today, link-state routing protocols that compute multiple shortest paths predominate in data center and campus networks, where routing is performed either in layer three or in layer two using link-state routing protocols. But current proposals based on link-state routing do not adapt well to real time traffic variations and become very complex when attempting to balance the traffic load. We propose All-Path bridging, an evolution of the classical transparent bridging that forwards frames over shortest paths using the complete network topology, which overcomes the limitations of the spanning tree protocol. All-Path is a new frame routing paradigm based on the simultaneous exploration of all paths of the real network by a broadcast probe frame, instead of computing routes on the network graph. This paper presents All-Path switches and their differences with standard switches and describes ARP-Path protocol in detail, its path recovery mechanisms and compatibility with IEEE 802.1 standard bridges. ARP-Path is the first protocol variant of the All-Path protocol family. ARP-Path reuses the standard ARP Request and Reply packets to explore reactively the network and find the fastest path between two hosts. We compare its performance in terms of latency and load distribution with link-state shortest-path routing bridges, showing that ARP-Path distributes the load more evenly and provides lower latencies. Implementations on different platforms prove the robustness of the protocol. The conclusion is that All-Path bridging offer a simple, resilient and scalable alternative to path computation protocols. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.